04/06/20: Gray Television launching late-night newscast



Cynopsis Long Story Short
Monday April 6, 2020

Tonight’s Premieres
Acorn TV: Deadwater Fell
BYUtv: Wayne Brady’s Comedy IQ at 8p
Netflix: The Big Show Show

Tonight’s Finale
NBC: Manifest at 10p


Gray Television is launching a late-night newscast hosted by Greta Van Susteren and Lee Zurik. Full Court Press, debuting tonight across Gray’s stations in 93 markets, will focus on the COVID-19 pandemic and expand on Gray’s weekend public affairs show, Full Court Press with Greta Van Susteren. Van Susteren will host from her home studio, while Zurik reports from the WVUE-TV studio in New Orleans, where he leads Gray’s InvestigateTV.

Investor group Standard General increased its stake in Tegna, and put forth an alternate slate of four board members. “Our additional investment boosts our economic and financial exposure to the company’s equity and signals our steadfast commitment to driving change at Tegna for the benefit of all shareholders,” said Soo Kim, founding partner of Standard General, which now owns 12% of the company.

ViacomCBS and beIN Media closed their previously announced Miramax deal, giving ViacomCBS a 49% stake in the film and television studio for $375 million. Approximately $150 million was paid at closing, while ViacomCBS has committed to invest $225 million over the next five years for new film and television productions and working capital. BeIN retains a 51% stake in the company; Miramax’s current leadership team will stay in place. In addition, Paramount Pictures entered into an exclusive, long-term distribution agreement for Miramax’s film library, as well as an exclusive, long-term first-look agreement allowing Paramount Pictures to develop, produce, finance and distribute new film and television projects based on Miramax’s IP.

Google reversed its stand on political groups running ads related to COVID-19. While the ban had been intended to block ads that capitalized on short-term events like natural disasters, said Mark Beatty, Google’s Head of Industry for Elections, the pandemic “has become an ongoing and important part of everyday conversation, including a relevant topic in political discourse.”

No Cannes do: The 2020 Cannes Lions Festival for Creativity has been canceled. The festival had been moved from June to October due to COVID-19 concerns, but given the turmoil in the ad industry, “it’s clear we can play our small part by removing all speculation about the festival this year,” said Philip Thomas, Chairman of Cannes Lions. The move comes after WPP said it was cutting awards shows out of its budget this year, and reports that other holding companies were reevaluating their participation in Cannes Lions. The next edition of the event will run June 21-25, 2021.

Fox canceled its second-lowest-rated drama series, freshman procedural Deputy. The net’s lowest-rated drama, Almost Family, got the axe last month.

Comedy Central will not bring back late-night talk show Lights Out With David Spade after a production halt last month due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Instead, the show, produced by Comedy Central Productions, will be shopped to other networks and platforms. Lights Out was the net’s third try at filling the slot left open after The Colbert Report’s Stephen Colbert left for CBS’s The Late Show, following Larry Wilmore’s Nightly Show and The Opposition With Jordan Klepper.

More Tiger King? Netflix is adding another episode to its hit docu-series, according to zoo owner Jeff Lowe, who appears in the show. In an April 4 video message to Los Angeles Dodgers player Justin Turner, Lowe claimed Netflix would be filming the following day, for an episode to stream this week.

DGA members ratified a new three-year film and television contract with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers. The new deal includes dramatic gains in SVOD residuals; increased funding for its pension plan; and improvements in TV creative rights.

Joe Ianniello, named acting CEO of CBS Corp. after the ouster of Les Moonves in 2018, didn’t get the top job when CBS merged with Viacom – but he took home a total of $124.5 million from ViacomCBS last year, according to the company’s proxy filing with the SEC. Severance accounted for $84.7 million of the total, while stock awards came to $37.4 million. Ianniello’s compensation in 2018 was valued at $25.4 million.

The 2020 CMT Music Awards have moved from June 3 to Wednesday, October 14. “Our top priority this last month has been rebuilding our hometown of Nashville following the tornado and ensuring the safety of our fans, employees, artists and partners during the COVID-19 crisis,” said organizers. “As we look forward to celebrating country music’s biggest stars together with our community and viewers, we will continue to follow the guidance of the CDC and local public health officials.”

AMC Networks has launched “We’re With You,” a multi-network effort offering programming from AMC, BBC America, IFC, SundanceTV and Sundance Now for free across digital and on demand, along with marathons across linear networks, and more. The networks will also be running a variety of spots with scenes that have renewed relevance to current circumstances and creative that features talent like Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Rhea Seehorn, Giancarlo Esposito and more in home-made videos.

Reed Midem is extending MipTV Online Plus to April 10. The online platform, offered free to registered MipTV, MipDoc and MipFormats 2020 clients after the MipTV market in Cannes was canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic, gives buyers a place to stream distributor programs that had been set for the MipTV Drama Buyers’ Summit and MipDoc Screenings Library, and offers access to project pitches and conference sessions. The market was to have taken place March 30-April 2.

The New Opportunity: Esports Betting
Cynopsis Webinar: Tuesday, April 7th 1:30PM EST

In Partnership with Esports Business Summit and Nevada Esports Alliance

The esports industry is grabbing the reigns not only with audiences, but also in providing fans with new, live options for betting and daily fantasy moves with audiences in lockdown. Learn all about it in this timely 90 minute discussion with industry experts from: Esports Integrity Commission, GRID esports GMbH, Fifth Street Gaming, GameCo LLC and DraftKings.



HBO limited series The Third Day, originally scheduled to premiere Monday, May 11, will now debut this fall. Six-parter starring Jude Law (The New Pope), Naomie Harris (Moonlight), Katherine Waterston (Fantastic Beasts), Emily Watson (Chernobyl) and Paddy Considine (The Outsider), a co-production between Sky and HBO, is the first original drama to be produced by Sky’s new production house, Sky Studios, in conjunction with Plan B Entertainment.

Also on HBO, We’re Here follows local residents across small-town America who are recruited to participate in a one-night-only drag show. Unscripted series makes its debut Thursday, April 23 at 9p.

BYUtv and The Dodo announced the premiere of The Wizard of Paws, a ten-parter following an animal prosthetist launching on BYUtv Wednesday, April 8 at 9p. Hyundai will sponsor with product placement and an active integration as part of the auto brand’s “Better Together” campaign with The Dodo.

Animal Planet’s Saved by the Barn focuses on Dan McKernan, who left behind a six-figure tech job in Austin to take over his family’s 140year-old farm in Michigan and transform it into a sanctuary for rescued farm animals. Series premieres Saturday, April 11 at 10p.


Its season impacted by the coronavirus, NBC set revised finale dates. The Chicago franchise, Law & Order: SVU, New Amsterdam and The Blacklist will all have shorter seasons due to production shutdowns. End dates are Manifest, tonight, April 6; New Amsterdam on April 14; Chicagos Med, Fire and P.D. on April 15; Indebted on April 16; Superstore, Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Will & Grace and Law & Order: SVU on April 23; Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist and Good Girls on May 3; The Blacklist on May 15 and Little Big Shots on May 24.

Crikey! It’s the Irwins: Bindi’s Wedding airs Saturday, April 18 at 8p on Animal Planet. One-hour special features the wedding of Bindi Irwin and Chandler Powell at the Australia Zoo, including behind-the-scenes footage of a ceremony that underwent a drastic change due to the coronavirus.

USA Network is supersizing a binge-a-thon of Psych. Seasons one and two will air nonstop from Wednesday, April 8 at 10p through Friday, April 10 at 5a. Seasons three and four will run Thursday, April 16 at 6a through Friday, April 17 at 2p. Stars Roday, Hill, Maggie Lawson, Kirsten Nelson, Corbin Bernsen and Tim Omundson will share their favorite moments and memories from the 2006-2014 series.

Shaq attack! Starting April 9, every Thursday night on TNT will be ShaqNight. Shaquille O’Neal and a revolving cast of his famous friends – from their respective homes – will watch the legendary NBA star’s favorite movies, provide commentary, compete against each other in boredom busters, and dance along to a DJ session by O’Neal. At 9p, the group will screen episodes of the new docuseries Shaq Life, offering a look O’Neal’s life.

The Ellen DeGeneres Show returns today, April 6, with shows filmed at the host’s home. “Since going into quarantine two weeks ago, I’ve been doing my show at home every day,” said the talk show host. “But only for Portia. Starting Monday, you’ll be able to see it too.” DeGeneres’ wife, Portia de Rossi, hasn’t been her only viewer – Ellen’s Home Quarantine show has aired on her YouTube channel.

HGTV is giving viewers a vote on programming in “Fan Favorite Friday” daytime marathons. Polls opened on April 3, and beginning April 10 at 12p, the winning fan-voted series will run with back-to-back episodes each week. The net is also inviting fans to be #HomeTogether this week, with a lineup of daytime marathons of series including Home Town, Good Bones, Love It or List It, Property Brothers and Fixer to Fabulous, beginning each day at 6a.


BET is teaming with the NAACP on a four-part tele-town hall series, Unmasked: A COVID-19 Virtual Town Hall Series Powered by NAACP & BET, focused on how the pandemic is affecting African Americans. The first town hall kicks off on Wednesday, April 8 at 8p, centered on the health, emotional, economic toll, congressional response and how activists can apply pressure to ensure legislation is equitable.

Short-form sweepstakes program Game Show Network Daily Draw will return to Game Show Network today, April 6 within the 4:30p airing of Get a Clue. The one-minute interstitial will give viewers the opportunity to win up to $500 each weeknight. “We love our audience and wanted a way to connect with them and their families while they, like us, are stuck at home,” said Fran Shea, EVP of Marketing. “The team at Game Show Network is a community of people who care about our viewers, and we thought this was a great way for folks to win some money they might be able to really use while engaging in our family-friendly content.”

Mobile news brand NowThis is offering a new show, In This Together, highlighting uplifting stories of individuals going the extra mile to help their communities during the COVID-19 pandemic. Episodes are produced 100% remotely.


ABC News Live launched new apps on Android TV and Amazon Fire TV, while ABC Owned Television Stations are launching native streaming apps on Android TV, Amazon Fire TV, the Roku platform and Apple TV. The moves come “at a time when news programming is critical and engaging to millions of viewers around the country, and when local news serves a vital role in keeping our local communities informed of events,” said ABC.

Controversial comedian Louis C.K. released a stand-up special, Sincerely C.K., on his official web site, for people who “need to laugh.” Price tag: $7.99.

SVOD service True Royalty is offering the US premiere of Harry and Meghan: A Royal Crisis, along with three-part historical docu-series Windsors at War.


Viacom International Studios confirmed three new distribution deals for It’s Pony, Nickelodeon International’s animated series: YLE2 (Finland), Televisa’s Canal 5 (Mexico) and Teleamazonas (Ecuador).

Japan’s Nippon Television Network Corporation is offering format rights to its new game show Mute it!, a family-friendly studio-based show created for and produced by Nippon TV in Japan.


Preschool educational and entertainment digital platform Hopster announced a partnership with Mediacom Communications Corporation. The service is available now and provides Mediacom subscribers, primarily located in the Midwest and Southeast, with access to Hopster’s video content by using Mediacom OnDemand (ch. 1) and subscribing to the channel’s extensive content for $4.95 per month.

The Children’s Media Conference will temporarily become The Children’s Media Community for 2020, in response to the cancellation of its planned UK conference July 7-9 due to COVID-19. With a revised theme of Still Here Right Now, CMC will offer a program of webinars over the next few months, culminating in a virtual conference in July. The first online event is a focus on China supported by the Department of Trade and Industry.

Kabillion and Kabillion Kids Rule! Platforms are celebrating Earth Day this month with special offerings including Sonic X: Trick Sand and Bobby’s World: Fish Tales.

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ABC’s Grey’s Anatomy hit a season-high 7.18 million viewers on Thursday, and a 1.4 rating among A18-49. New CBS comedy Broke scored 7.07 million viewers out of the gate, and 0.9 in the demo.

FOX News’ virtual town hall in partnership with Facebook, featuring medical and business experts on the global coronavirus pandemic, was the most-watched program in all of cable at 7p Thursday, April 2, according to early time period ratings from Nielsen. The one-hour, commercial-free town hall averaged 3.81 million viewers, 870,000 among A25-54 and 606,000 viewers in the A18-49 demo.

Broadcast Nielsen Ratings for Thursday, April 2
Show, P2+ 0000s, (A18-49)
ABC: Station 19 7.2 (1.1), Grey’s Anatomy 7.2 (1.4), How to Get Away With Murder 2.9 (0.6)
CBS: Young Sheldon 10.1 (1.3), Man With a Plan 7.0 (0.9), Mom 7.7 (1.0), Broke 7.1 (0.9), Tommy 5.3 (0.6)
CW: Katie Keene 0.4 (0.1), Legacies 0.3 (0.1)
FOX: Last Man Standing 4.1 (0.7), Last Man Standing 2.8 (0.5), Mental Samurai 1.8 (0.5)
NBC: Superstore 3.2 (0.7), Brooklyn Nine-Nine 2.1 (0.5), Will & Grace 1.5 (0.3), Indebted 1.4 (0.3), Law & Order: SVU 3.5 (0.6)
UNIVISION: Rosa de Guadalupe 2.0 (0.7), Amor Eterno 2.2 (0.7), Sin Miedo a la Verdad 1.5 (0.5)
TELEMUNDO: Exation Estas Unidos 1.5 (0.5), La Dona 1.17 (0.4), Operacion Pacifico 0.9 (0.3)
Source: Nielsen live + same day time period averages


This Day in History
1917 – The US declared war on Germany, entering World War I.

Answer to Our Last Trivia Question
What was the name of the paper Rory interned for in Gilmore Girls (2000-07)? The Stamford Eagle-Gazette. Kudos to: Paul Blutter-Walk and Talk Production Rentals/Burbank, Alee Petrucelli-BBC Studios/NYC, Katherine Naugher-Discovery/Knoxville, TN, Tom Moore-Kalt Productions/LA, David Westberg-SAG-AFTRA Credit Union/Burbank, Maddie Howard-A+E Networks/NYC, Synda Kollman-Charter Marketing Group/Boca Raton, FL, Cathy Russo-ViacomCBS/NYC, Elizabeth Wendorf-Juice Media/LA

Today’s Trivia Question
Which future TV star first grabbed the attention of television audiences as a masked singer known as “Covered Man” on The Merv Griffin Show? (Email [email protected] with your answer and be sure to include your name, company, city and time zone. Unofficial rules: a limit of four answers per time zone.)

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SENIOR ANALYST, RESEARCH & STRATEGIC INSIGHTS >> WGN America & Antenna TV: Partner with Ad Sales on both digital and linear Insights and industry materials, act as a liaison for Digital Ad Operations, Programming, Marketing, Promo Scheduling, and News division. Provide insightful reporting and data analysis. BA degree & 2+ years of Media rsch exp at a brdcst or cable network, agency or vendor. Full info HERE (4/15)

Deliver rich media content that is enthusiastically viewed by diverse North Carolinians. At least 6yrs of related experience as a respected leader in content development, curation and delivery. Masters degree journalism/prod/comm. Full info HERE (4/15)

UNC TV/RTP NC: Lead production, management and reporting for UNC-TV’s email marketing campaigns which includes content development, design and deployment for regular content emails, engagement and fundraising campaigns and ongoing marketing automation. Strong knwlg email mktg practices. Full info HERE (4/15)

leader on the Digital Marketing team, supervising one permanent position, and is responsible for UNC-TV’s social media strategy w/ the goal of building & sustaining an engaged audience and member base across social media platforms. BA deg in discipline related to area. Full info HERE (4/15)

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NBCU/LA: Play a critical role within our fast-paced advertising sales team. 8+ years of relevant direct selling experience in advertising sales (Advanced TV) Full info HERE (4/10)

Fuse Media/NYC:
Experienced candidate to join dynamic team developing customized plans and presentations for Ad Sales clients. 2-4 yrs exp media sales co., or advertising agency pref’d w/strong knwldg media math. Exc problem solving & analytical skills. Full info HERE (4/10)

Motivated PR exec for Sr mgr or above position to dvlp strategies & implement publicity/comm campaigns for content-creators/producers. 5-7 years minimum of publicity and communications exp. Full info HERE (4/9)

Lead a team of Campaign Specialists responsible for setup, trafficking and optimization of Ad sales campaigns across all NBCU News properties. Min 5 yrs ad ops exp. Knwldg industry tools incl DFP, Operative, Canoe and Freewheel. Full info HERE (4/9)

Help identify, evaluate & dvlp to strengthen the division, expand revenue streams that align with NBCU’s long term convergence strategy between linear & digital operations teams. Min 2 yrs of professional exp in digital advertising. Full info HERE (4/9)

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world-class strategist who will bring every aspect of our brand to life—from go-to-market planning, to IP, to audience development. 6 yrs brand planning/marketing strategy exp (TV/DTC) from the entertainment, advertising, or consumer products industry. Full info HERE (4/7)

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Resp for quantitative diligence & analytical support for content acquisitions. Transform data-driven insights into quantitative analysis, financial modeling and presentations. Mng Content Mkt Pipeline, incl exhibition & sales history. Full info HERE (4/7)

TLC/Silver Spring MD or NYC:
Create and publish the best digital & social content experiences for TLC and Discovery Life. Implement effective, innovative & influential social media strategies as the brand’s voice. 3+ yrs exp in social media marketing required. Full info/apply HERE (4/7)

Creative Techie, Communications pro
seeks role in assisting, dvlpmnt, prod, post, creative or technical. Humorous, personable, enthusiastic. Polymath with 20+ years exp, including QC, GFX design, photography, home management, editing & collaborating. Competent in MS, Google, Adobe. LA-818. [email protected] (4/10)

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SITUATION WANTED >> VP Development/Acquisitions: with over 15 years experience producing, developing and selling content. Los Angeles based. Highly versed in Spanish language and diverse markets. Can be reached at 310.850.2110 / [email protected] (4/10)

SITUATION WANTED >> DIGITAL/SOCIAL MEDIA MARKETER/LA: Digital/social media marketer with 5+ years experience marketing stories to kid, teen, and parent audiences across digital platforms (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, YouTube, etc.). Currently in L.A. (San Fernando Vall(ey). Contact Megan at [email protected] (4/9)

ABC: Celebrity Family Feud, Celebrity Family Feud, Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? Secrets & Surprises
CBS: The Neighborhood, Bob Hearts Abishola, All Rise, Bull
CW: Whose Line Is It Anyway?, Whose Line Is It Anyway?, Roswell, New Mexico
FOX: 9-1-1, Fox Presents the iHeart Living Room Concert for America
NBC: The Voice, Manifest [f]
PBS: Antiques Roadshow, Antiques Roadshow, Broken Pieces
Telemundo: Exation Estas Unidos, La Dona, Operacion Pacifico
Univision: Ringo, Amor Eterno


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